Photo prompts are extremely effective ways to get kids (or adults) to write. Regular use of visual prompts will allow for regular, engaged writing. And regular writing -- practicing writing -- improve skills, i.e., practice makes writing easier, builds the writer's confidence and enhances the quality of their work.
There is another theory at work. I've been interested to hear teachers say that open-ended assignments -- Write about whatever you want to write about ... or Write a story... -- often bring the least imaginative responses and lower quality responses. If you restrain that freedom just a bit, but offering a visual prompt or an evocative phrase as a prompt, you are more likely to see greater imagination and engagement.
So this is one of a number of appealing photos we've gleaned from shorpy.com My response: (and what is yours? Go ahead, write something in the comment box! Have fun with it!)
Every day we do this. Every day we bake in our tiny little house and our tiny little yard here in Terre Haute. And then Dad comes home. And we get in the Packard and go down for a shake or a Pop or a burger. And some AC. Love that AC. Dad usually buys 10 minutes worth but it's well worth it. Between the shake and the cool air, I feel alive again. But I don't like it when Dad makes us close the windows. He says it keeps the cool in longer, but it makes me feel scared, like something is going to come out of the tubes and crawl into my ears.